Book: ‘They Killed Freddie Gray: The Anatomy Of A Police Brutality Cover-Up’ Receives Advance Praise

Photos: Book Cover\Wikimedia Commons

The 2015 death of Freddie Gray at the hands of Baltimore police shocked the nation and caused an uprising.

In her debut book, Justine Barron exposes the untold truth behind Freddie’s death and the abuse of power that tried to cover it up. Based on new evidence, this book reveals an extensive cover-up by city and federal officials of brutal police force involving buried and manufactured evidence, a corrupted autopsy process, a performative prosecution, and even a riot provoked by police actions.

They Killed Freddie Gray: The Anatomy of a Police Brutality Cover-Up is a moving book that puts readers in the eyes of eyewitnesses and on the streets of Baltimore when protests exploded. It offers a case study in how to deconstruct the statements of officials, question the “evidence,” and follow the money in similar cases.

About the Book

Based on new evidence and deep reporting, the riveting truth about a case that has become a touchstone in the struggle for racial justice and Black lives.

They Killed Freddie Gray exposes a conspiracy among Baltimore leaders to cover up what actually happened to Freddie Gray, who was fatally injured in police custody in April 2015. After Gray’s death, Baltimore became ground zero for Black Lives Matter and racial justice protests that exploded across the country. State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby became a hero when she charged six officers in Gray’s death, and the trials of the officers generated national headlines for two years.

Yet the cause of Gray’s death has remained a mystery. A viral video showed an officer leaning on Gray’s back while he cried out in pain. But the autopsy concluded he was fatally injured later that morning while the van was in motion—during a multi-stop “rough ride”—from sudden impact to his head. None of the officers were convicted of any crimes based on this theory.

They Killed Freddie Gray solves the mystery of Gray’s death by uncovering new evidence of how he was killed by police and how his cause of death was covered up. In coordination with a documentary film now being produced, this book revisits a pivotal moment in US criminal justice history, providing new insight into what happened, the historical structures of power that allowed it to happen, and the personalities and dynamics involved—a story never told by the mainstream media. It includes a detailed map with annotations by the author, photographs, and a foreword by Rabia Chaudry.

About the Author

Justine Barron is an investigative journalist whose work focuses on crime, corruption, and media criticism, with a special emphasis on Baltimore. She is also an acclaimed storyteller and four-time winner of the Moth storytelling competition. Her work has appeared in the Appeal, Rolling Stone, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, Real News, Jewish Journal, NPR-WLRN, Miami Herald, and numerous local independent outlets in Baltimore. In 2017, she co-investigated and co-hosted Undisclosed: The Killing of Freddie Gray. In 2021, she was honored with a Best of Baltimore Award for her work by Baltimore Magazine. Justine grew up in Maryland and attended Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in English. She holds a master’s degree in English Literature from Duke University. She now lives in Miami, Florida.

Rabia Chaudry is an attorney, advocate, and author of the New York Times bestselling Adnan’s Story and the critically acclaimed Fatty Fatty Boom Boom: A Memoir of Food, Fat, and Family. Rabia is the executive producer of the HBO documentary series The Case Against AdnanSyed and also coproducer and host of the podcasts Undisclosed, Rabia and Ellyn Solve the Case, Nighty Night,The Hidden Djinn, and The 45th. Rabia is a 2021 Aspen Institute/ADL Civil Society Fellow and was previously a 2016 Aspen Ideas Scholar and on the Vanguard Board at the Aspen Institute. She is the recipient of the Truman National Security Project’s 2015 Harry S. Truman Award for Communications & Media Influence, is a 2015 Carnegie Corporation Great Immigrant, and is the recipient of the 2015 Healing & Hope award by the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth. Rabia received her Juris Doctorate from the George Mason School of Law.

Advanced Praise for They Killed Freddie Gray

“They Killed Freddie Gray is a fascinating look at police and political abuse of those caught up in the criminal justice system. The egregious 2015 arrest and in-custody death of Baltimore resident Freddie Gray is an alarming wake-up call to the abuse of power by those tasked to protect and serve the people under the Constitution. This ‘You Are There’ format gives insight into the final moments of Freddie Gray’s life and allows the reader to experience the constitutional abuse of power firsthand. I wholeheartedly endorse this book.”

Sgt. Ron Stallworth (Ret.), author of Black Klansman

“Required reading for anyone who thinks policing will be fixed or justice achieved by civilian review boards, progressive prosecutors, blue-ribbon panels, or high-paid ‘police reformers.’ Barron makes clear that abusive policing is business as usual for Baltimore’s political class.”—Alex Vitale, author of The End of Policing

“Meticulous and engrossing, They Killed Freddie Gray provides a multifaceted analysis of the investigative, prosecutorial, and journalistic shortcomings that characterized the aftermath of Freddie Gray’s arrest. Unearthing new details, it reveals the cover-up that has kept the full story from us until now. ‘No Justice, No Peace’ was the rallying cry on Baltimore’s streets soon after Gray’s death. This book explains why and how justice was not done, and why the city, and the country, should still feel no peace.”—Stuart Schrader, author of Badges Without Borders: How Global Counterinsurgency Transformed American Policing

“If there is to be a seminal text investigating the truth about the killing of Gray and the ensuing cover-up, this book will be it.”—Rabia Chaudry, author of Adnan’s Story and Fatty Fatty, Boom Boom

“An impassioned account of the circumstances behind 25-year-old Freddie Gray’s death while in the custody of Baltimore police in 2015. . . . Barron uncovers suppressed evidence, such as video recordings and witness testimony, that she asserts would have made convictions more likely if it had been shown to the public or at the trials. Barron’s writing is powered by outrage over Gray’s death and the failure to hold anyone accountable. Readers will be troubled.”—Publishers Weekly


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